About The Bali Island


MALAY Archipelago lies directly on the volcanic belt of the world. Like the backbone of some restless, formidable antediluvian monster, more than three hundred volcanoes rise from The sea in a great chain of islands - perhaps all that remains of A continent broken up in prehistoric cataclysms - forming a continuous land bridge that links Asia with Australia. Because of its peculiar and fantastic nature, its complex variety of peoples, and its fabulous richness, the archipelago is one of the most fascinating regions of the earth. It includes famous islands like Java, Borneo, Sumatra, New Guinea, the Philippines, and the hysterical. Island-volcano of Krakatao. Such freaks of nature as the giant " dragon " lizards of Komodo, the coloured lakes of Flores, the orangutans, the rafflesia (a flower over three feet in diameter), and the birds of paradise, are to be found nowhere else, The population of the islands ranges from such forms of primitive humanity as the Negritos, the Papuans, the Kubus, who seem only a few steps away in the evolutionary scale from the orangutan, to the super civilized Hindu-Javanese, who over six hundred years ago built monuments like Borobudur and Prambanan, jewels of Eastern art.

One of the smallest, but perhaps the most extraordinary, of the islands, is the recently famous Bali - a cluster of high volcanoes, their craters studded with serene lakes set in dark forests filled with screaming monkeys. The long green slopes of the volcanoes, deeply furrowed by ravines washed out by rushing rivers full of rapids and waterfalls, drop steadily to the sea without forming lowlands. just eight degrees south of the Equator, Bali has over two thousand square miles of extravagantly fertile lands, most of which are beautifully cultivated. Only a narrow strait, hardly two miles across, separates Bali from Java; here again the idea that the two islands were once joined and then separated is sustained by the legend of the great Javanese king who was obliged to banish his good-for-nothing son to Bali, then united to Java by a very narrow isthmus. The king accompanied his son to the narrowest point of the tongue of land; when the young prince had disappeared from sight, to further emphasize the separation, he drew a line with his finger across the sands. The waters met and Bali became an island.

Bali lies between the islands of Java and Lombok and is one more than 17,000 islands that makes up the Indonesian Archipelago. Bali is small, stretching approximately 140 km from east to west and 80 km from north to south. Slightly off centre, and running east to west, are a string of volcanic mountains. The tallest is Gunung Agung, which last erupted in 1963, and is 3,142 m. at its highest point.

Lying just 8° south of the Equator, Bali boasts a tropical climate with just two seasons, wet and dry, a year and an average annual temperature of around 28° C. The rich volcanic soil and healthy monsoon season make this island extremely fertile and a range of crops are grown here. The wide and gently sloping southern regions play host to Bali's famed rice terraces, among some of the most spectacular in the world. In the hilly, northern coastal regions, the main produce is coffee, copra, spices, vegetables, cattle and rice.

The wide variety of tropical plants is surprising. You'll see huge banyan trees in villages and temple grounds, tamarind trees in the North, clove trees in the highlands, acacia trees, flame trees, and mangroves in the South. In Bali grow a dozen species of coconut palms and even more varieties of bamboo.

And there are flowers, flowers everywhere. You'll see (and smell the fragrance of) hibiscus, bougainvillea, jasmine, and water lilies. Magnolia, frangipani, and a variety of orchids are found in many front yards and gardens, along roads, and in temple grounds. Flowers are also used as decorations in temples, on statues, as offerings for the gods, and during prayers. Dancers wear blossoms in their crowns, and even the flower behind the ear of your waitress seems natural in Bali.

Elephants and tigers don't exist any more in Bali since early this century. Wildlife, however, includes various species of monkeys, civets, barking deer and mouse deer, and 300 species of birds including wild fowl, dollar birds, blue kingfishers, sea eagles, sandpipers, white herons and egrets, cuckoos, wood swallows, sparrows, and starlings. You can watch schools of dolphins near Lovina, Candi Dasa, and Padangbai. Divers will see many colorful coral fish and small reef fish, moray eels, and plankton eating whale sharks as well as crustaceans, sponges, and colorful coral along the east coast and around Menjangan Island near Gilimanuk.

Bali's population has grown to over 3 million people the overwhelming majority of which are Hindus. However, the number of Muslims is steadily increasing through immigration of people from Java, Lombok and other areas of Indonesia who seek work in Bali.

Most people live in the coastal areas in the South, and the island's largest town and administrative center is fast growing Denpasar with a population of now over 370,000. The villages between the town of Ubud and Denpasar, Kuta (including Jimbaran, Tuban, and Legian, Seminyak, Basangkasa, etc), Sanur, and Nusa Dua are spreading rapidly in all directions, and before long the whole area from Ubud in the North to Sanur in the East, Berawa/Canggu in the West, and Nusa Dua in the South will be urbanized.

Things that’s makes bali so special is the combination of the friendly people, the natural attractions, the great variety of things to see and do, the year-round pleasant climate, and the absence of security problems. And then there is Bali's special "magic", which is difficult to explain.

As soon as you step off the plane you might sense the difference. In the villages you'll notice the quietness and wisdom in old people's faces, and the interest and respect in the young's. Old men sit at the road side caressing their fighting cocks. Beautifully dressed women walk proudly through rice fields and forests carrying offerings on their heads to the next temple. There is the smell of flowers, and in the distance you hear the sound of gamelan music.

Gods and spirits have been an important part of Bali's daily life for hundreds of years. Gunung Agung – Bali's holy mountain – is internationally regarded as one of the eight "Chakra" points of the world. This may be more than an coincident. Watch out, the moment you feel the magic of this island, you're addicted for the rest of your life.

Short notes about bali :

:: Geography ::

Area : 5,561 sq km
Capital : Denpasar
Borders : Java Sea on the north, Indian Ocean on the south, Bali Strait on the west and Lombok Strait on the east
Rivers : Ayung, Unda, Sungsang, Balian, Yeh Sumi, Petanu, and Saban
Mountains : Agung, Batukaru, Batur, and Merebuk
Lakes : Batur, Buyan, Bratan, and Tamblingan
Humidity : 80%. Rainfall : 893.44-2,702.6 mm per year
Population : 3,172,000 (2001). Density : 550 persons per sq km (2001). Average Growth : 1.18% (1980-1990)

:: Religion ::

Moslems (5.22%)
Protestants (0.58%)
Roman Catholics (0.47%)
Hindus (93.18%)
Buddhists (0.55%)

:: Economic Indicators ::

Economic Growth : 8.86%
Income per Capita : Rp. 1,090,447.49 (1990)
Exports : Garments, handicrafts, furniture, canned fish, vanilla, coffee, tuna, seaweed
Value of Exports : US$ 145,997,595 (1991)

:: Primary Products ::

Agriculture - Food Crops : Rice, corn, and horticulture
Commercial Crops : Coconut, clove, coffee, rubber, vanilla and fruits
Livestocks : Cows, buffaloes, sheeps, goats, pigs, horses, chickens, and ducks
Fishery - Fish Products : Tuna, skipjack tuna, barramundi, shrimp, seaweed, giant gouromy, and common carp
Fresh Water Fishery Area : 841.37 ha
Forestry-Forest Products : Cayuput oil, rattan, and incense
Productive Forest Area : 8,535.05 ha
Handicrafts : The Balinese are known for the outstanding wood and stone carving



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